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Top five strategies to improve sustainability in your creative team

These days, sustainability is at the forefront of everyone’s mind. What are you doing to make your business more environmentally friendly? You might not think this should be a priority for your company, but there are other benefits to focusing on sustainability: as people become more conscious of the challenges we face regarding global warming and pollution, a strong environmental position can also help you attract customers.

We spoke to our team to create a breakdown of the top five ways to improve sustainability in your business.


Use less paper

Paper waste is out of control: a single office employee consumes 10,000 sheets per year – that’s the equivalent of one whole tree! What’s worse, over three quarters of these sheets end up as waste shortly after being used.

The key to reducing paper waste is to switch to a fully digital workflow. It’s simple, really: the more digital your workflow becomes (think virtual photography and prototypes), the less overall waste there is as you eliminate the need for materials, lighting, travel, and of course paper. Adobe will allow you to move to a digital workflow for proofing so there is less need to print out your projects.

What about physical copies for contracts, licences and other legal documents? Adobe also has you covered. With their document signing functionality, you can go digital, and the signatures are just as valid as they are on a paper copy. This has been proven to reduce environmental impact by 95% when compared to a paper-based workflow.

Their document storage tools can also help you move away from a paper-based workflow. Adobe Document Cloud already prevents 30 billion paper documents from being printed every year – an absolute game changer that you can start using right now.

If you’re really looking to push your paperless stance even further, we suggest looking into Adobe Experience Cloud, which can help you cut on postal junk mail by using its digital marketing offerings instead. Junk mail is universally disliked – a quick Google search brings up only results on how to stop receiving it – and often seen as outdated. By switching to digital marketing only, you are not only saving the environment, but also creating a better image for your company.


Make the most of recycling

You’re probably already separating your waste for recycling in the office. But it’s by choosing electronic devices made of recycled materials that you can really make an impact, as the manufacturing process often requires highly polluting materials like rare earth metals.

Apple is at the forefront of this trend and uses recycled materials in almost all its products. For example, MacBook Air with M2 chip is the first Apple product to use certified recycled steel, specifically in the battery tray, and in the new MacBook Pro with M2 chip, 46% of all the rare earth elements in the device are recycled.

Perhaps you are worried that upgrading to a greener device will result in the ones you already have being wasted. There are many options to refresh or upgrade your tech in a greener way, like our leasing and trade-in schemes, which reduce waste by minimising the number of machines that are discarded altogether.

Another service we offer is Device on Demand (DoD), which allows you to scale up or down your estate at any moment without worrying about generating waste. If you need a small number of machines for a short period of time, DoD ensures that you don’t have to end up throwing away an entire MacBook – or your money!


Streamline your asset management

We’ve told you to make your workflows digital to save paper – but digital workflows present their own challenges. Data centres currently consume about 200TWh worldwide, and contribute about 0.3% of all global carbon emissions. And that’s not taking into account other environmental impact issues like their water consumption for cooling.

However, there are steps you can take to reduce your electric consumption when it comes to your IT, because the devices your team works on and even the software they use can have a big impact as well.

A recent study by a cloud storage provider revealed that 20% of the files within its storage are duplicated.

Another study by a backup and recovery software company shows that eliminating the transfer of duplicate data can reduce traffic over your network and backup servers by up to 400%, and of course, this comes with energy savings to match.

This means that good asset management goes hand in hand with energy savings, which not only makes your company greener but also makes your team’s workflow smoother. Small changes like avoiding duplicates and improving version control add up over time, especially when it comes to larger files.

A tool that we often use in our own creative team to manage assets is Portfolio by Extensis. It’s a library for all your assets that includes keywords and metadata, and that, combined other features like thumbnail images on search results and the ability to exclude certain keywords from your search, makes locating your assets easy and convenient.


Cut the commute

In 2019, the average employee commuted for almost an hour. The advent of remote work, pushed by the pandemic, has disrupted this situation, but long commutes and travelling to work still account for a large part of a company’s carbon emissions.

Skipping the commute is only possible if you have strong tools that allow your team to work remotely with minimal disruption. Let’s use Microsoft 365 as an example. We’re all familiar with programs like Word or Excel as they’ve been office staples for decades, but the latest versions come with an array of features to boost collaboration. Your team can now work directly on the cloud, where the changes they make to the document can be seen in real time by everyone.

Another powerful tool in the Microsoft 365 arsenal is Teams. Not only does it support videocalls, but also chat, and it integrates perfectly with the other apps in the toolbox, meaning that you can discuss any necessary amends to a file with your colleagues and then seamlessly implement them without leaving the app. You can use it to reduce travel to the office for meetings – working from home can have a huge impact on your company’s carbon emissions, and is sure to prove popular with the team also!


Choose sustainable suppliers

Change begins at home, and there are many ways to reduce your environmental impact starting right at your office location. However, once you start looking beyond the office walls and down your supply chain, you can start maximising your impact by partnering up with companies that share your environmental goals.

Apple is spearheading change across the IT industry, as they aim to be totally carbon neutral by 2030, powering 100% of their manufacturing effort with solar, wind and other renewable energies. So choosing Apple is a good first step to take, and we’re here and ready to help you upgrade.

By choosing us to manage your Apple upgrade, you are choosing sustainable partner. We are committed to the environment – we’ve recently earned a gold medal from EcoVadis, putting us in the top 5% of companies when it comes to sustainability. But we won’t stop there.

We also offer services that can help you take another step towards sustainability, for example our Device as a Service (DaaS) option is a way to ensure your devices are always up-to-date and can be repaired when needed, and just like DoD, it also gives you the option to scale the estate down and prevents waste. We also offer a Device Retirement and Recycling service that has been designed to make removal and disposal of outdated devices as smooth, affordable and green as possible.

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